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Wander Lord

Interesting on art, nature, people, history

Matryoshka – Russian doll

Matryoshka – Russian doll

Matryoshka – Russian doll


The matryoshka is a set of four to eight hollow wooden dolls of graduated size nesting inside each other. It is the most familiar item of Russian folk art.
The rounded female figure was a familiar fertility symbol in pagan Russia. The most ubiquitous matryoshka is the pink-cheeked peasant woman in native sarafan, her head covered with the traditional scarf. However, there are a lot of variations. Nests of dolls with the faces of famous writers, members of artistic circles, military heroes, politicians or members of a family were created.
The first matryoshka – plump cheerful girl in scarf and Russian national dress – was born not in ancient times, as many believe.
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Magic of tailed healers

Magic of tailed healers

Magic of tailed healers


Animal-assisted therapy (treatment by animals) was introduced by New York physician Boris Levinson.
Of course, the best “doctors” among animals are dolphins. It has long been recognized that communication with dolphins helps even children with Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.
Aquarium fish certainly have healing abilities. Smooth movements of colorful fish in clear water reduce stress. In addition, watching fish helps in the treatment of certain skin diseases – it has been observed that the aquarium distracts the patient and prevents him from scratching sores. And even the presence of the aquarium itself serves as the prevention of colds and asthma: evaporating water makes the air moist and healthy, while the dry atmosphere increases susceptibility to infections.
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Ilya Muromets – Russian bogatyr

Ilya Muromets – Russian bogatyr

Ilya Muromets – Russian bogatyr


Ilya Muromets was a hero of the Russian epic tales, or byliny, a Russian bogatyr. Ilya’s surname is actually an epithet that simply means he came from the city of Murom, not far from Moscow. He was born in the village of Karacharovo and Muromets was used to identify him after he had left his hometown. Ilya was born a cripple and he was too weak to even move. At the age of 33 he was miraculously cured by a group of men, who gave him a drink made of honey. They told Ilya how he should spend his life.
Shortly after his cure, Ilya traveled to Kiev, to offer his services to Prince Vladimir Bright Sun and his wife Evpraksiya. He had his wonderful horse Sivushko, which galloped like the wind and cleared mountains in a single leap.
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Vodyanoy – Water Lord

Vodyanoy – Water Lord

Vodyanoy – Water Lord


Vodyanoy is the Russian fairy tale character. They are the spirits that live in the water, and are also called Water Lords, or Watermen, Water Grandfathers, Water Jesters. Vodyanoy is represented as a flabby old man with a fish tail. He has a large beard and green mustaches. Vodyanoy could turn into a large fish, a log, a drowned man, a child, a horse, or an ugly old man.
They are shepherds of their cows – catfish, carp, bream and other fish, that are grazing at the bottom of rivers and lakes. In general, they are kind, but sometimes they like to have fun and take someone to the bottom. A special power was given to the spring Watermen, because the springs, according to legend, appeared from the lightning strike of Perun, the most powerful deity.
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Jupiter – biggest planet

Jupiter – biggest planet

Jupiter – biggest planet


Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system. In fact, it is bigger than all the other planets put together. Its diameter is about 143,000 kilometers.
The planet is named after the king of the Roman gods. Jupiter is a giant ball of gases, mostly hydrogen and helium. The center of the planet is probably made of a hot liquid. Jupiter is extremely hot, thousands of times hotter than the hottest place on Earth. Its center may reach temperatures of 25,000° C. It does not have a solid surface at all.
The planet has more than 60 moons. Most of them are very small.
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Greece – Land of Islands

Greece - Land of Islands

Greece – Land of Islands


Greece is surrounded on three sides by seas: to the south is the Mediterranean Sea, to the west is the Ionian Sea, and to the east is the Aegean Sea. More than 2,000 islands in the Ionian and Aegean seas belong to Greece. The islands are divided into the Ionian Islands and the Aegean Islands. The Greek mainland shares borders with Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Its area is 131,940 square kilometers. Its official name is Hellenic Republic.
In ancient times Greece was a center of science, philosophy, and art. In the late 300s Greece became part of the Byzantine Empire. In 1453 the Turkish Ottoman Empire conquered Greece. In 1821 the Greeks began a war of independence. Supported by Great Britain, France, and Russia, Greece declared its independence in 1829.
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Fern – mysterious plant

Fern – mysterious plant

Fern – mysterious plant


Once upon a time the ferns covered our entire planet. And they were huge trees! Ferns are flowerless green plants. Their featherlike leaves are called fronds. Young fern leaves are tightly curled. Ferns reproduce by dispersing spores instead of seeds. The spore cases, called sporangia are located in pockets on the margins of the leaves. There are about 12,000 different species of fern throughout the world. Some types first appeared on Earth more than 360 million years ago. Some species are free-floating aquatic plants, some species grow in moist woodlands, and a few species grow in arid or semiarid regions.
Ferns come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.
Such animals as deer eat ferns, and some birds use them to line their nests.
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Fata Morgana – Mirage

Fata Morgana - Mirage

Fata Morgana – Mirage


Fata Morgana, the wicked and insidious sorceress, lived long ago, in the time of the glorious King Arthur. She knew how to build amazing castles, luxurious palaces with fountains, and lured weary travelers there. Seeing these palaces, the travelers, as bewitched, turned off their path, and the wonderful visions disappeared without a trace. And Fata Morgana was amused, watching the great astonishment of people. Much water has flowed under the bridge since then. King Arthur became a legend, and many people do not believe that he lived in reality. But Fata Morgana still keeps joking.
Many of us, at least once in our life, saw elementary mirages, for example, melted lakes on hot asphalt during the hot summer day. It is almost impossible to study mirages in detail. Morgana is always unpredictable.
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Karelia – land of lake and forest

Karelia - land of lake and forest

Karelia – land of lake and forest


Karelia is a land of lake and forest, mist and rain. It has 40,000 lakes, among them Ladoga and Onega, the two largest in Europe. There is pine, spruce and the famous Karelian birch here. Fog often blankets the forests and lakes.
In Karelia, archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of Neolithic (3000-2000 B.C.) settlements, and many rock drawings – masterpieces of primitive art—have been found. About 600 drawings have been discovered on the eastern shores of Lake Onega. The primitive artists hewed human figures, animals, birds, fish, reptiles, symbols of the moon and the sun with tools made of rough stone. The site for the pictures is on the edge of a cliff by the water. Rock drawings are best seen in the slanting rays of the setting sun.
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Firebird – fairy tale bird

Firebird – fairy tale bird

Firebird – fairy tale bird


Firebird is one of the most famous characters in Russian fairy tales. Its feathers are very bright and shiny. In the fairy tales men are looking for the Firebird and the one who will have at least one of the feathers will be happy. The firebird lives in the far end of the kingdom, in a beautiful garden, where golden apples grow. One of the Firebird’s feathers costs more than a whole kingdom, and the Firebird itself does not have a price at all.
In mythology, Firebird is often compared to medieval, very popular in the Russian and Western literature, Phoenix, which is able to rise from the ashes. The Firebird eats golden apples, giving youth, beauty and immortality; when it sings, pearls pour out of her beak. The singing heals the sick and restores sight to the blind people. These apples can be compared with the fruits of a pomegranate tree, the favorite delicacy of the Phoenix.
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